Speed Limits and Road Safety
What should the speed limit be reduced to? A comment heard frequently is along the lines of “It’s a maximum speed, not a suggested speed”
Surely that is at the root of the problem. The more we try to set “safe” speed limits the more we take away the need for a driver to think for him/herself.
Inexperienced drivers must be forgiven for assuming that it is safe to drive at the posted limit because that is the world they have learnt to drive in. The modern attitude to health and safety is raising a generation that cannot recognise danger because it has always been sheltered from it. Young drivers are no different and observation suggests that the problem is not confined to the young.
So what should the speed limit be? The maximum safe speed on any stretch of road depends on the road surface, the visibility, the volume of traffic, the ability of the driver and the condition of the vehicle. No authority can possibly set a limit that is correct for all the possible variables so it could be argued that the limit must be low enough to allow for every eventuality.
OK, let’s assume an old car, poorly maintained, driven by a seventeen year old who has just passed their test. The road is covered with ice and fog has reduced visibility to 30 metres.
Maximum safe speed is zero. So logically the only way to set speed limits to stop accidents is to ban vehicles from moving.
Much better to remove all speed limits. Those who can learn to drive will do so and survive. Those that can't learn won’t be able to get insured!